Southern California storm features tornado

Jan. 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A fast-moving storm came ashore Tuesday in Southern California, drenching the region with rain, increasing the mudslide threat and causing at least one tornado.

Along with the tornado, four water spouts and winds as high as 80 mph accompanied the storm, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"We have everything going today," National Weather Service spokesman Bill Hoffer said.

The storm hit hardest in Long Beach, Seal Beach, San Pedro and Huntington Beach, the newspaper said, flooding roads, damaging homes and bringing hail, ice and lightning to some spots. Piers along some beaches were closed because of heavy surf.

Officials ordered residents of 60 homes south of the area burned by the Station Fire to evacuate, reported. Hundreds of evacuations were ordered Monday.

The storm is the second of four expected to hit California this week.

Officials in the Bakersfield area blamed strong winds for the death of a 21-year-old man who was sleeping in his home, the Los Angeles Times said. Officials said the winds toppled a tree onto the structure.

Tuesday's storm is expected to be followed by two storms Wednesday into Thursday, with the second predicted to be the worst for Southern California and Arizona, reported. forecasters said, the storms could dump 1 to 2 feet of snow along mountain slopes in California.

Rain could trigger mudslides and flooding in California and Arizona, including the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Phoenix areas, forecasters said.

Storms moving through Southern California Monday prompted evacuations in mudslide-prone areas, knocked out power for tens of thousands of people and flooded streets and highways, the Times reported.

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